For Immediate Release Media Contact: Collin Nash and Sid Nathan
July 9, 2010 (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead Leads Coordinated Storm Damage Assessment with Federal and State Officials
Great Neck, NY--Almost two weeks to the day after a “micro burst” heaped tornado-like damage on much of the Great Neck peninsula—the eye of the storm centering on the Village of Great Neck—federal, state, county and local emergency management officials joined and local government officials to conduct a coordinated damage assessment of the area.
Data accounting for all the clean-up expenses incurred by North Hempstead and all the villages, special districts, agencies and utilities is presently being collected and will be forwarded to state emergency management officials to determine eligibility for federal disaster aid. In order to qualify for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) funds, there must be a total of at least $25 million in expenses for damages, equipment usage and manpower incurred by all municipalities.
“Damage assessment has now become our top priority,” Supervisor Jon Kaiman said following the July 7 damage assessment tour. “Our only hope of recovering federal dollars is if every entity impacted, including the county, town, villages, school and park districts and library as well as LIPA and other agencies all work together. So far, so good, but we have a long way to go.”
Calling it a “miracle” that no serious injuries resulted from the storm that struck without warning, Congressman Gary Ackerman said: “We are grateful for the quick response by the federal government and New York State emergency management agencies to our requests to appraise damage to the town. Much gratitude goes to the fire and town emergency workers under the able leadership of town officials, with the selfless cooperation of neighboring jurisdictions, and the county. That's what government is for!”
State Senator Craig M. Johnson said “The swift, coordinated response on the ground by the State Emergency Management Office and local officials to restore the Great Neck peninsula and greater western Nassau to some semblance of normalcy was remarkable. Now it’s time for the federal government to step up. I'm glad that FEMA took the first step toward accessing our eligibility for federal disaster aid. I will do everything I can to ensure that all damage is accounted for and our communities are in the best possible position to receive the maximum amount of eligible federal aid.”
County Legislator Judi Bosworth praised the efforts of “our fire departments, police departments and the outstanding cooperation of all levels of government to quickly put the community on the road back to normalcy. Hopefully, she said, “this tour will have impressed upon FEMA our need for assistance in funding this recovery effort.”
State Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel noted that “the FEMA/SEMO bus tour of the storm damage, enabled her to see firsthand how the incredible coordination and response effort of the villages, town, fire and water districts, and the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, maximized the cleanup efforts witnessed by the State and Federal agencies. Seeing the extent of the devastation caused by this storm and the extensive resources needed for the cleanup,” she said, “I am amazed and grateful that no one was hurt.”
For more information on North Hempstead’s coordinated storm relief effort, please visit www.northhempsteadny.gov or call 311.